Cannes Lions 2017 seems to be urging us to examine our emotional side. Whether it is fighting more strongly for the issues of our times or shaping ideas that value how we live our lives, there's a powerful, visceral message hitting home.
The creators of the Olympic 2016 opening ceremony, SRCOM/Filmmaster articulated it as "the heart has no limits" while mentalist Keith Barry simply decided to hijack and hack our marketing minds. Either way, the effect was palpable.
Social media decided to delve way deeper on feelings. Pinterest took away our phones and locked them in a kitchen safe to demonstrate the value of personal time and introduce us to the lens functionality. YouTube shared the exponential appeal of unabashed pop culture content across geography and time. Twitter turned the hashtag into a massive movement to change lives and make them matter.
AI revealed its human understanding. Tencent spoke of predictive social listening - how AI can lean forward and engage better. Sapient Razorfish defined AI as the best way of discovering our own minds and touched on the 19 primary marketing emotions. Google and Jigsaw then heightened this experience for us with examples of how machine learning can positively impact our day and take the negative and toxic emotions out of online conversations.
Content creators stood for the un-fake. CJ E&M delighted us with rediscovering the art of boredom and the pleasure of doing nothing in an achievable, affordable fantasy. David Remnick wanted to replace the rising tide of bullshit and fake news with breathing true air and holding on to pure facts. They replaced today's fast-paced, spin-doctored life with simplicity and integrity for us.
Speakers said it as it is. Sessions like Women in Cinema and Daughters of the Evolution were candid shows on the resilience of woman power. The New Tribes of Arabia opened our eyes to the huge emotional and creative surge happening in the region. While Mario Testino looked beyond the image to deeper human-to-human, brand-to-consumer, true-to-essence connections. All this added up to raw and real soul-baring conversations between speakers and audience.
Technology, content and communication no longer want to be the disruptors of life - instead they consciously want to become active reasons to bond. They are looking to enrich with feelings and meld with experiences. Portraying a life that is not air-brushed or couched in platitudes anymore … but a life grounded in the genuine.
For someone like me, working across countries and talking to disparate customer segments using the power of full-blown digital experiences, these insights come in at the right inflection point. As we increasingly deepen engagements with consumers, using the most cutting edge innovative technology, it is so important to stay real, stay relevant and stay empathetic.
Which is why the packed Cannes Lions schedule isn't just making us visit the Palais. It is also making us revisit our collective soul.
(Meera Sharath Chandra is Founder, CEO & CCO of Tigress Tigress- a digital-led integrated communications agency in London and Mumbai- and three-time Cannes juror)
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.